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About Sigma Xi » Overview

Sigma Xi (Xi is pronounced with a "Z" sound-"Zi"-as in "xylophone") was founded in 1886 to honor excellence in scientific investigation and encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among researchers in all fields of science and engineering. The Greek letters "sigma" and "xi" form the acronym of the Society's motto, "Spoudon Xynones," which translates as "Companions in Zealous Research."

Being involved in Sigma Xi really truly helps
one develop the sense of collegiality that is extremely
important if you're going to succeed in any professional
career, whether it's academic science or industry-related science.

—Emil T. Chuck, Sigma Xi member since 2003

The companionship, I think, is the basic issue.

—V. Elving Anderson, Sigma Xi president 1982-1983

Excerpted from the documentary "Sigma Xi: Making a Difference in Science and Engineering." Companions in Zealous Research (1:06)
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Today, Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. There are nearly 60,000 Sigma Xi members in more than 100 countries around the world. Sigma Xi chapters, more than 500 in all, can be found at colleges and universities, industrial research centers and government laboratories. The Society endeavors to encourage support of original work across the spectrum of science and technology and to promote an appreciation within society at large for the role research has played in human progress.

To that end, Sigma Xi publishes the award-winning American Scientist magazine, awards hundreds of grants annually to promising student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that serve science and society. Primary programmatic interests include research ethics, science and engineering education, the public understanding of science, international research networking and the overall health of the research enterprise. At the new Sigma Xi Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, the Society is enhancing and expanding programs in support of its members, chapters and the research community.

Membership in Sigma Xi is by invitation. Those who have shown potential as researchers are invited to join as associate members. Full membership is conferred upon those who have demonstrated noteworthy achievements in research. Each year the Society initiates nearly 5,000 new members. Over the course of the Society's distinguished history, more than 200 members have won the Nobel Prize and many more have earned election to the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering.

Sigma Xi Chapters
Sigma Xi exerts its greatest influence through the programs and activities of its more than 500 chapters. Truly a grass-roots organization, Sigma Xi boasts an array of chapter activities that have noticeable impact not only at the local level, but also at the national and international levels. The interdisciplinary nature of Sigma Xi chapters allows members to interact with colleagues and address a range of issues that bridge the scientific disciplines.

Programs and Activities
While many Sigma Xi programs are administered directly through it chapters, some long-standing programs of the Society continue to be central to its overall mission. These include American Scientist magazine, the Grants-in-Aid of Research Program, a number of prestigious annual prizes and awards and the college of Distinguished Lecturers. The Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference has become a dynamic gathering for hundreds of leading researchers and students, featuring workshops, research presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities over several days.

An interview with Executive Director Jerome Baker about Sigma Xi.

Sigma Xi's Corporate Brochure

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
P.O. Box 13975
3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Phone: 800-243-6534 or 919-549-4691
Fax: 919-549-0090


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